Myddelton house garden

Posted on August 29, 2014 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

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Back in July when the sun was out almost everyday, I was stuck indoor working in front of the computer until I decided to leave my work behind temporarily and headed outdoor one day. I wanted to visit a garden but not in the city centre, so I started to look for places on the outskirt of London. Then I discovered the newly restored Myddelton house garden in Lea Valley (Enfield), I was very intrigued as I have never heard of it before and was keen to find out more about the story behind this historical garden.

I packed my camera and sketch book, and started my mini adventure on a very hot day. The train journey from Seven Sisters took only about 15-20 mins, but I felt quite excited as the train headed out into the suburbs.


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The 8-acre garden is about 15 mins walk from the train station, and entrance is free. The house and garden was built and created by Edward Augustus Bowles, one of Britain’s most famous self-taught horticulturalist, artists, writer and expert botanists. He was born here in 1865 and lived here all his life until his death in 1954. He dedicated much of his life to transforming the gardens with his love of unusual and exotic plants. However, the garden was left neglected for decades and parts were in danger of being lost forever, before Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, backed by nearly £500,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, set about restoring the garden to its former glory. After two years of restoration work, the garden reopened in May 2011 by the Duchess of Cornwall, who was previously married to Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles, the great-great nephew of E A Bowles.


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The garden has a small museum, a tea room with a lovely outdoor courtyard. I had a quick lunch here and began to explore the garden afterwards. I have been to the bigger and grander gardens before, but this one is quite special because it is full of unexpected surprises. Although it is not very big, there is much to explore and everything is very well thought and laid out. I especially love the shady seats scattered in various parts of the garden, they are slightly 'hidden' and yet offer fantastic views of the surroundings.

The garden also contains many eclectic artifacts that Mr Bowles collected, and one of them is The Enfield Market Cross dates back from 1826. The cross stood in the market place in Enfield Town until 1904 when it was dismantled and almost turned into rubble. Luckily, Mr Bowles rescued it and placed as the centrepiece in his rose garden. It’s approximately 3½ feet shorter now as the upper section was possibly damaged in the dismantling (see above).


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One of the most interesting aspects of the garden is the variety of exotic plants here, which includes the highly invasive Japanese Knotweed, yellowroot, agave, aloes and different types of cacti in the greenhouse and newly built conservatory.


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The few hours I spent here flew by very quickly and it was time for me to head home. Reluctantly, I walked back to the station but at the same time, I felt incredibly uplifted after spending my day at this enchanting and tranquil garden.


The garden is open all year round and the nearest station is Turkey Street (zone 6) on the Liverpool Street line.



This post was posted in London, Nature, Gardens & parks, British heritage and was tagged with London, nature, gardens